Appeal hearings resume for Khmer Rouge leaders

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Phnom Penh, Feb 16 (IANS) A Cambodian tribunal on Tuesday resumed appeal hearings for two senior Khmer Rouge figures of the brutal regime who were found guilty in August 2014 of crimes against humanity.

Khmer Rouge Head of State Khieu Samphan and “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, the former deputy secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, were sentenced to life imprisonment by the UN-backed tribunal in the first of at least two trials against them, EFE news reported.

The appeal hearing was adjourned in November 2015 because of a lack of legal representation for Chea after one of his lawyers failed to attend the hearing and another defied orders by leaving the courtroom.

This round of appeal hearings is scheduled to continue till Thursday.

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The two are also being tried in a separate case on charges of genocide.

The appeal hearings follow an announcement by the tribunal on Monday that the case of Im Chaem, a district chief under Pol Pot who is charged with a range of crimes during the regime, had been split from her two co-defendants.

In a statement, the court said the action was aimed at speeding up proceedings against Chaem while investigations into the two other defendants continued.

The ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge regime, which ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led to the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people.

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